It’s still just a rumor as of right now, but if the rumor is true we could be seeing Conor McGregor in a WWE ring very soon; as soon as WrestleMania 34 in fact.
McGregor is no stranger to big PPV stardom, being arguably the biggest draw in UFC history as well as the co-star of a recent boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather that reportedly nabbed in the neighborhood of five million buys. He’s also no stranger to WWE; though he’s never actually been in WWE, he has often talked about pro graps and a few superstars in particular. The man has no qualms about sharing his opinion and his supreme confidence (to his fans) and ghastly ego (to his detractors) are larger than life enough to make WWE a good fit for him, whether in a one-off or a Lesnar-type deal.
If the rumor is true and McGregor is coming to Mania for a match, there are plenty of potentially great options to choose from. The WWE is currently a goldmine of great in-ring performers and big personalities, with several who could easily make some magic happen in the weeks leading up to the big show, and possibly in the ring as well.
Here are—in no particular order—the ten guys I believe are on Vince McMahon’s short-list to work with Conor McGregor at WrestleMania (should such a deal come to pass):
10. CM Punk
Now don’t laugh, I know it’s crazy but hear my thought process out here: What a Vince McMahon thing it would be to convince Punk to come back…for a glorified celebrity match, and not something with Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Finn Balor, etc. And what a CM Punk thing it would be to agree to that kind of a match as a one-off “not-comeback.”
09. Triple H
Who better than the biggest star left from the most popular era, who worked with Sting at WrestleMania 31? When you need a big match guy for a big “legend vs legend” match, Triple H more often than not finds himself in that role.
08. Brock Lesnar
You better believe Vince McMahon would hand out a blank check to get this on PPV. Two of the biggest UFC stars ever competing on WWE’s biggest show in a match that would never happen in UFC? Yeah, Vince would be all over that.
07. Enzo Amore
Now don’t laugh, I know it sounds crazy but hear my thought process out here: Conor McGregor is 5’9, 195lbs. And I don’t believe for one second that Vince will give him the customary pro wrestling size inflation. He’s not going to be billed at 6’1, 220 as all I’m saying. Enzo Amore is 5’11 200lbs. Enzo Amore is bigger than Conor McGregor. I just have this idea that Vince McMahon will stand next to Conor, shake his hand and think “who does this tiny person think he is?” and stick him in a match with a cruiserweight. It’s just mildly insulting enough to be a Vince McMahon thing to do. That said, the promos between these two would be off the charts. Is it crazy? Is it stupid? Would it put smiles on faces? Yesx3.
Not a big name, I know. He’s also not a great promo either. And he’s not the most exciting wrestler. So there’s not a lot to point to as to why this would be a great pairing, but they’re both Irish and Sheamus is a good utility guy for a bogus celebrity match; sort of how Big Show was a good pairing with Floyd Mayweather back in 2008. Would it be exciting? Probably not, but never underestimate WWE’s ability to play it safe and go for the lowest common denominator.
05. Triple H
Who better than the biggest star left from the most popular era, who worked with Brock Lesnar for three of his first four matches after returning to WWE? When you need a big match guy for a big “UFC vs WWE” match, Triple H more often than not finds himself in that role.
04. John Cena
This is kind of a no-brainer to me. He may not be the guy they choose, but you’d be crazy to think he wouldn’t be on the short-list for a big match like this. He’s big match John. It’s right there in his name! There’s no bigger name on WWE’s roster that they could bring over to stand across from Conor in promotional material, no more polished promo guy who would keep the potentially volatile McGregor on track, and no more seasoned in-ring vet who could walk him through the pretend fight.
03. Hulk Hogan.
I mean…tell me you can’t see him putting in a call to Vince to be the guy? And tell me Vince wouldn’t slip into muscle memory and put Hogan’s name down for a big match like this.
02. Floyd Mayweather
He’s undefeated in a WWE ring and just defeated McGregor in the boxing ring. After their August 26th fight ended, all of McGregor’s loyal fans proclaimed with one voice “lets see Floyd step into the Octagon!” That will never happen but maybe Vince has been hoarding all that money he’s been saving from cutting pyrotechnics and is ready to cut not one but two monster checks. Mayweather/McGregor II: ElectricWrestleManiaBoogaloo. The marquee alone would ensure a Superdome sellout.
01. Triple H
Who better than the biggest star left from the most popular era, who stepped up to the plate and worked the main-event of the biggest WrestleMania ever a couple years ago, when WWE had no talent good enough to carry the WWE title and deliver a breathtaking main-event match with Roman Reigns that solidified him as the most popular superstar ever. At least I think that’s what happened. I was at WrestleMania 32 but I fell asleep during the main-event. According to commentary that’s what happened so I’ll take Michael Cole’s word for it. When you need a big match guy for a big “WrestleMania main-event caliber” spectacle, you go with the guy who has more WrestleMania main-events than anybody.
That’s my list, Cagesiders.
Who would you love to see stand toe-to-toe with Conor McGregor (nevermind the fact that you’re not going to get what you want unless you want Triple H because it’s totes going to be Triple H)? I look forward to reading your names in the comments below. Until then, I’m Matthew Martin: I love WWE but everything sucks and I’m never watching again.
See you next Monday.